Business

How SME’s can be more environmentally friendly

Reduce your environmental impact with these top tips on going green in the workplace
With deadlines to meet and targets to hit, thinking about the environment is rarely a priority in the workplace.

But just a few surprisingly simple changes can have a significant positive impact on the environment – and also on your finances.

The Carbon Trust Standard estimates UK SMEs could collectively save nearly £400 million per year in energy costs, and over 2.5 million tonnes of CO2, by reducing their carbon footprints.
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Cyber Attack? It’ll never happen to my business, right?

Well actually, if you’re a small business owner, the chances of being a victim of cyber crime is now higher than ever …

  • In 2016, 66% of small firms surveyed were victims of cyber crime
  • SMEs fell victim to seven million cyber crimes over 2014 and 2015
  • The total annual cost of cyber crime to SMEs over 2014 and 2015 was £5.26 billion
  • On average, SMEs will fall victim to four cyber crimes every two-year cycle

Federation of Small Businesses, Cyber Resilience Report 2016

Literally thousands of businesses suffer cyber-attacks daily and, whilst there have been some high-profile crimes, like the NHS’ WannaCry attack, you’d be wrong to think no-one’s interested in a small business like your’s.

Indeed, criminals are actively targeting SMEs because fewer processes make them vulnerable to human error, such as loss of confidential data and sensitive banking information. And attackers are using more and more sophisticated methods, from hacking into bank accounts, to duping businesses into transferring funds to them via fraudulent emails. (more…)

The Gender Pay Gap

On 28th January, the final draft of the gender pay gap regulations were published. Under the new regulations, if your company employs at least 250 staff members, you will be required to disclose the pay gap between your male and female employees. These amounts must be made publicly available on your company’s website for at least three years. However, whilst the regulations come into force on 6th April 2017, you will not have to publish your company’s findings until 30th April 2018.

But, that does not mean that your company should wait until 2018 to take any action, as you will be responsible for compiling data starting 5th April 2017. Your company should begin preparing now in order to ensure that you are able to adequately capture the following six pieces of information that you will need to include in your report: (more…)

Choose Bespoke Cover, Not Cheap Boilerplate Cover

In general, the more comprehensive and thorough a policy is, the more protected your business will be. Despite the security that an extensive policy can provide, only 38 per cent of SMEs ranked a policy’s scope as being the top influencer when choosing a new policy, according to recent industry research. Instead, a majority of the surveyed SMEs ranked the cost of a policy as the most important factor. Whilst the cost of a policy is an important consideration, focusing solely on cost could expose your business to potential risks—such as under-insurance and unnecessary add-ons. (more…)

UK Companies’ Top 3 Risks in 2017

Each new year brings with it a collection of challenges for businesses to overcome, and 2017 is no different. That is why your company needs to be adequately prepared for this year’s forecast, which includes digital threats and shifting economic conditions. According to a recent industry survey, the following three risks are the most significant and worrisome that UK companies of all sizes will be confronted with this year: (more…)

Small Business Saturday

Small businesses and customers in West Sussex can both benefit from Small Business Saturday on 3rd December.

All kinds of small businesses can get involved, including family firms, local shops, online businesses, wholesalers, business services and small manufacturers.

Businesses can visit www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com to get a free listing of their business, marketing pack and more.

Customers can also visit the website where they can search the small business finder, upload photos and messages on to social media of them using local businesses, and pledge to support their local businesses.

West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “Small Business Saturday offers our local businesses a great way to get their name out there, encourage growth, and build their network of customers.

Please make Small Business Saturday a really big day for our Small Businesses across West Sussex by supporting them at shops and businesses near you!”

For more information visit the www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com

 

Source: West Sussex County Council

The Retailers Who Shopped Their Employees

Sports Direct Founder Mike Ashley denies all knowledge of Sports Directs working environment while Phillip Green is demanding financial compensation after what he claims to be slanderous comments from Labour MP Frank Field. It’s been a rocky few months for British Retail, and an eye opener for fair treatment of employees.

“It’s a bad example, but it’s not the only example.”

These were the words of Iain Wright, Chairman of the Business Innovation & Skills Select Committee, when talking on a Sky News interview about their report that went behind the scenes to the ruthless working world of Sports Direct, a world that founder Mike Ashley claims to have no knowledge of.

And he’s quite right, because details of staff getting paid below minimum wage and giving birth in the disabled toilet land on our news feeds only a short time after BHS crumbled, with Phillip Green facing questions of why the British retailer went from a pension fund of £43 million surplus to £354 million deficit in the space of 15 years. (more…)

Keep Calm and Hold Your Nerve: A Brexit Update for Businesses

Brexit is poised to bring significant changes to nearly every aspect of the nation, and while it is still too soon to know whether the long-term effects will be positive or negative, UK businesses have already begun to feel the strain. In July, BDO, an accountancy and services firm, published its Business Trends Report, which is a weighted average of Britain’s main business surveys. The survey revealed that the business optimism score, which predicts growth over the next six months, fell from 99.4 in May to 98.9 in June, while the figure for predicted output fell from 99.7 in May to 99.0 in June. While these shifts may seem minute, they actually signal that business sentiment in Britain has fallen to a three-year low.

Unfortunately, until Britain can accurately identify and address the effects of Brexit, the economic climate is not expected to greatly improve. However, that is not to say that it will continue to get worse. The only statement that can be made definitively is that change, whether for the better or worse, is on the horizon. While the prospect of change is generally coloured by uncertainty and unease, your company needs to remain calm—now is not the time to panic. Instead, stay smart and judicious to avoid getting caught up in needless hysteria. (more…)

Is Your Business Prepared For Pokemon Go?

Unless you’ve been on holiday for the past few weeks you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go, the latest craze sweeping the nation (in fact, you’ve probably heard about it even if you were on holiday). In this mobile game, players wander around the real world using the camera and GPS technology in their mobile phones to track down wild Pokémon creatures in an attempt to ‘catch them all’.

It’s largely harmless fun, designed to get people out and about but we are already seeing a number of ways that the game, and its popularity, are having an unexpected impact upon businesses. Is your business prepared for Pokémon Go?

How Does Pokémon Go Work?
Pokémon Go uses your phone’s GPS in much the same ways as Google Maps does, showing your current location upon a map of local roads, streets, and landmarks. Wild creatures called Pokémon appear on your map and by walking to where they are located in the real world, you can interact with them and attempt to add them to your collection.

Some Pokémon are found all over the place while others are much rarer, encouraging players to explore their local area to find them. Meanwhile, local landmarks are transformed into special areas where players can obtain helpful items or compete with others.

It’s simple, addictive fun, and incredibly popular too. But how can a mobile phone game like this affect your business?

Accidents May Happen
Pokémon Go has only been available for a few weeks and already there are dozens of stories of people injuring themselves by paying too much attention to their phones and not enough attention to their surroundings as they try to catch the best Pokémon.

What this means for your business, particularly if you have a shop floor or an area where members of the public can cross, is that you may find people who are apparently oblivious to what’s around them, and therefore a lot more likely to injure themselves.

This means you need to take even greater care to quickly remove or signpost any potential hazards as there’s a greater chance that an inattentive member of the public walking around with their phone out will slip on a spillage you haven’t cleaned up yet, or trip on a loose flooring tile you haven’t replaced yet. (more…)

Cyber Attacks On Small Businesses On The Increase

The number of small businesses falling victim to cyber-attacks is on the rise throughout the world, the Telegraph reports.

Law authorities and top cybersecurity experts are now warning that it’s not just blue chip companies, governments and celebrities that are under threat from cyber-crime. As more and more start-ups and entrepreneurs enter the business world, a growing number of cyber criminals are setting their sights on them.

According to cybersecurity firm Symantec, over the last four years an increasing number of cyber thieves have been targeting small businesses, viewing them as ‘easy targets’. That’s partly because larger companies have ramped up their security and firewalls following big-name cyber security breaches; but many smaller companies are failing to do the same.

Symantec’s research shows that nearly half (43%) of global cyber-attacks during the course of 2015 were on small businesses – those with less than 250 employees. Criminals exploited the digital weakness of smaller firms to steal data, crash websites and send spam to customers. (more…)